Comments on the Trafficking in Persons Report

This article sensationalized the recent 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, and brought the ire of local anti-trafficking expert John Vanek. According to John: the comment that “the recently released 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, the United States and Mexico had the greatest amount of trafficking in the world was taken out of context. I finally got around to examining the new TIP Report and found the source of this erroneous statement. In the Country Narrative for the United States, page 491, it states: ‘victims originate from almost every region of the world, the top three countries of origin of federally identified victims in FY 2018 were the United States, Mexico and the Phillipines.’ This means that victims of HT identified by federal agencies (assuming federally-funded local task forces and service providers) were mostly U.S. citizens, which makes complete sense. Mexican citizens were the second largest group,and Filipinos were the third largest group. Since the report uses the phrase ‘countries of origin’ instead of ‘citizens of’, this could also be understood to mean this is where the victims came from, e.g., maybe a citizen from Central American country was living in Mexico and their traffickers brought them into the United States from there. So the phase isn’t particularly clear.” “As with all data and estimates regarding human trafficking it is important to look for the subtleties. We don’t need greater confusion than we already have”! The article that caught his attention is here, and the link to the TIP Report is here.

Oakland man arrested in Santa Ana for trafficking underage girls

From the words of PATH partner, John Vanek: “Alleged to have trafficked three girls under age 18, the challenge in this case (and most trafficking cases) will be getting these girls to testify in court, unless the defendant please. Victim service providers play a critical role in prosecutions that is often overlooked.” Read the full article here. 3/18/19

Hidden in plain sight, sex trafficking thrives on the casual callousness of buyers

Here’s another article about human sex trafficking in massage parlors and brothels, this one about international trafficking. As long as there is a market that buyers support, this horrendous human tragedy will continue. In the words of PATH partner John Vanek, this is a good article about the process of recruitment that many women from Asia experience before being sexually exploited. Read the full article here. 3/1/19

The Monsters are the Men: Inside a Thriving Sex Trafficking Trade in Florida

This article (here), tells the story of a massage parlor that was a front for a human trafficking and prostitution operation. It led to an investigation spanning four Florida counties and two states (Florida and New York) over nearly eight months. Unfortunately, this is an all too common operation. Our South Lake Tahoe Police Department were instrumental in getting an Ordinance passed for the City of South Lake Tahoe, to prevent this type of operation in our city. 2/23/19

Vigilant Airline Ticketing Agent Saves Teen Girls from Human Trafficking Scheme

This article is one of the best outcomes one can hope for regarding human trafficking. The astute ticketing agent followed her instinct and saved two teen girls from a situation that most likely would have resulted in domestic human trafficking. It occurred in Sacramento, California – one of the nations hot spots for human trafficking. Like so many others, perpetrators befriend children on social media, and then lure them into the HT situation. It is so vital that we educate our youth about this way they can get into a dangerous situation. See the article and video here. 1/18/19